Meze 99 Classics

Rating:
4.37903/5,
  1. Amuro_Rey
    A suprise for a headset of this cost !
    Written by Amuro_Rey
    Published Mar 20, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Excellent build quality , good materials and assembly, warm sound with good detail
    Cons - The pads is very hot after some times of useing and the sound losese impact with high volume
    Meze 99 Classics is a very surprising headset !
    When I received it a few days ago and I opened the box I was surprised by what he managed to do Meze especially knowing the selling price of this headset
    The box was fantastic, the hard case, the little box with a pair of cable and some jacks, very very good
    The 99 is not so little headset, and yes a portable headset but is one that is not possible to bend like many others on the market, the headband is a really surprise, the elastic control system for the head is very good, the wood pads are very well, a little small in my opinion and this is also because with the use I noticed that quite warm the ears
    The headset is still very light and easy to carry
    A very plus is the detachable cable, so you can take or use other cable and the other good news it’s that the cable uses a mini-jack to the pads
    Here perhaps I preferred assets in the accessories also provided with a standard jack cable
    We come to the sound , we say that is a headset that requires the famous burn in before playing them in a serious way. The sound after burn in changes significantly and becomes much more natural
    This headset has a warm sound very amazing warm sound, but at the same time has a shade of high sound beautiful and detail, the mids are warm and natural , a wide sound stage for a closed headphone
    For me it was a real surprise as sound for headphones in this category, sure can’t be a LCD-X category headset, but in his class of price is a really BEST !
    The bass is not so deep like a LCD-X but is the best part of this headset, and It’s not so present as to overpower the rest of the sound and the division of the instruments is fairly clear-cut
    All so positive ?
    No, the perfect headset does not yet unfortunately , and this 99 I noticed that with the increase of the volume (Burson Virtuoso) lost a little in the presence of the sound, with increasing volume high frequencies take, for my taste, too much the upper hand and against the low frequencies tend to flatten slightly by losing body to the sound
    The sound continues to be great anyway for that little baby, but still loses something
    In conclusion, we say it is a headset built in great way, with a packaging and accessories supplied above average and that if used to listen to moderate / low volume will give you great satisfaction
    GOOD work Meze !
      MezeTeam likes this.
    1. Bansaku
      Nice review. Question though, what do you consider moderate volume?
      Bansaku, Mar 20, 2016
    2. Amuro_Rey
      With my Burson Virtuoso a "moderate" volume is 20/22
      After that the 99 lost a little of bass presence
      My LCD-X can rise high till 35/38 and the sound continue to be "full", yes the LCD-X and the 99 is not to be compared
      Amuro_Rey, Mar 20, 2016
  2. phonomat
    A great, non-fatiguing headphone
    Written by phonomat
    Published Mar 20, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Great sound, relaxed, warm, not in the least fatiguing, yet detailed
    Cons - Slight issues with overall build quality
    Caveat: This is my first review. Meze has been so kind as to provide me with this headphone. I'm not professional, I'm not an audiophile, just an enthusiastic hobbyist who likes to listen to (mostly instrumental electronic) music. I'm also not an English native speaker. Sorry!
     
    Well, with over 20 reviews, what is there to add? Not much, I'm afraid. By now, most of what's important about this headphone has been said and it's more a matter of underlining certain already well-covered aspects from my personal angle and experience.
     
    First of all, I have headphones in my possession that are many times as expensive as the Meze 99 Classics which retail for $309,- at the moment (my Pioneer SE-Master 1 costs almost eight times as much), and I have to shamefully admit that, currently, I reach for the Meze more often than not, which is mainly due to two reasons:
     
    • This can rocks! Head-noddingly, foot-tappingly rocks! I found that after the first couple of minutes they just got out of the way and let me enjoy the music, probably more so than other, more scrutinizing 'phones which sometimes tempt me to listen to the headphone rather than the music. I happen to think that this is a great character trait for a listening device. Are they very neutral? Are they analytical? Not, rather veeeery smooth and therefore
       
    • I can listen to them hours and hours … and hours and hours … on end without experiencing any fatigue whatsoever, which is more than I can say for certain "flagship" phones (yes, I'm looking at you, Fostex TH-900!).
     
     
    Sound
     
    I found that the Meze 99 Classics strike just the right balance between warmth and detail. While the aforementioned headphones and others that I've heard like the infamous Sennheiser HD 800 indubitably offer better resolution and microdetail, they tend to achieve that effect at the cost of a certain warmth or smoothness, resulting in a sound that, broadly speaking, can at times be perceived as harsh. Not so the Meze: Its highs are smooth as peanut butter (well, the smooth kind, not the crunchy kind). If you, like me, are sensitive to high frequencies or even happen some kind of tinnitus which is aggravated by those, this can be a godsend!
    The mids are just there (which I mean as compliment; there is nothing that bothers me in that section, nothing at all – neither do they feel overly recessed nor are they too present; just nothing off here), and the bass …
    Mmm, that bass! It's very warm, almost cozy, like you can wrap yourself in it as you would in a soft, cuddly blanket. While I guess there is a slight mid-bass hump, they amount of bass (for me at least, and I like me some bass) is just right, and it never sounds aggressive or too muchn in-your-face. Now, it may not be as clean as that of the Fostex TH-900, for example, but again, that headphone costs five times as much and is renowned for its bass qualities, so you would expect some differences. I just mention it because I have it readily available. With the Meze, the texture can be a tad soft here and there, a little less sharply contoured and precise; it's almost as if the manufacturer's emphasis lay on a warm enveloping sound signature. Funnily enough, this does not disturbe me in the leat, but I guess it is something to be aware of. This headphone is certainly south of neutral, with a warm yet punchy sound sig. It's probably closer to mid-fi than to summit-fi, and if you're looking for absolute fidelity, well, I guess you'll have to keep looking, but to my ears, they sound agreeably warm and smooth with a very nice, solid bass foundation that fits my preferred music genre like a glove.
    Also, don't get me wrong: The resolution the 99 Classics offer may not compete with some flagships out there, but even if it is not world class, it is certainly no less than great great among its price class:
     
     
    (Very) Brief comparison
     
    To compare it to two headphones in its own league, I like it better than the Ultrasone Pro 900 which, though having prodigious bass, can sound much more bright to the point of being annoying. Some swear by the Pro 900's soundstage, others not so much; I think this is due to Ultrasone's S-Logic technic working better for some listeners than for others. All in all, this aspect of the Pro 900 feels more finicky, while the 99 Classics are more relying and will just deliver in this regard.
    At the other end of the spectrum, there is the Audioquest Nighthawk, which retails for as much as $599,- or thereabouts and also has a warm sound signature, but to the point of sounding closed-in, constricted, mushy, bloated and veiled to my ears, all of which the Meze just does not. So if you have been eyeing the Nighthawk, give the 99 Classics a try first, and you might be able to save some money and get a superior headphone with a similar signature that will not polarize as much. It's just great value for money.
     
     
    Cons
     
    Those have been tackled extensively as well: Yes, the cups are a little small, which does not bother me, however, since my ears fit in them without a problem and they're nonetheless comfortable enough for longterm use (and this is where I see them in my repertoire: as a great headphone for long sessions that just won't get uncomfortable, neither comfort-wise nor sound-wise).
    My biggest issue by far are the cables. What's the problem? Well, let me put it this way: One comes with a microphone, both come with microphonics. I know this has been mentioned before, but even having read the previous reviews, I have to say that I was somewhat surprised by the degree to which this annoyed me. While I initially thought that this might be a great can to use on the go, I'm not so sure anymore, since even sitting down I'm somewhat bothered by the sounds the cable makes during quiet music passages when I turn my head and it chafes on my sweater, for example. This will happen alle the more easily since the connectors are not angled but directed in a way that they're pointing straight down so that contact with one's body/clothes is almost inevitable. Also, tapping on the headband while wearing the headphone will make it resonate very audibly. While this is something that is less likely to happen IRL, the cable microphonics are really bothersome and an alternative solution should be found. It's quite a shame really, since the Meze's sound is so very enjoyable otherwise.
    All in all, I have to take these issues in consideration when judging the build quality of this headphone and say that while I am impressed by the sound, I'm not with the overall quality. There are also some minor chips in the wood, but since I haven't reveived the 99 Classics fresh out of the box, I cannot judge on how they have been treated before being relaeses into my care and how easily this will happen.
     
     
    Summary
     
    All in all, this is a very enjoyable, very comfortable headphone with great sound -- relaxed, warm, not in the least fatiguing, yet detailed --, great value for money and unfortunately less than stellar build quality, but still very decent for what you pay. If you don't plan to take it outside, I'd wholeheartedly recommend that you take a listen to this fine creation by Meze.
     
    *This being my first review, I'd be very open to and grateful for any suggestions and criticism. Thanks, everybody!*
      Wilashort likes this.
  3. swnger
    Step out design with sonic quality to match Outstanding Value
    Written by swnger
    Published Mar 19, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Beautiful visual design First class construction materials natural sonics
    Cons - Ear cups could be a little bigger for full over the ear effect
    I'm not an absolutist.  I think a product should be reviewed from the view point of claims made for the product and the value that in represents to the user.
     
    Judging  the Mezze 99 Classics on those factors It's a purely outstanding product offering.  If your the kind of person that likes to read the first two lines of a review then hop over to the Meze site and give them your hard earned cash.  You wont be sorry.
     
    Want some more torture?  Please read on.
     
    I always get a big charge out of the unboxing Videos on YouTube.  They seem to be a voyeuristic guilty pleasure, kind of shoppers porno.  I wouldn't usually include packaging in a review for a product but I think Meze's packaging for the Classic 99 is well done.  I'm often a "B" stock buyer I think the company has had a second chance at making the product right so as you can see the white "B" box can work for me.
    Classic99boxfront.jpg
     
    Box Front   Simple classic
    Classic99boxback.jpg

    I think the line at the bottom of the back of the Box tells the story " Perfect natural sound Perfect natural Fit" 
    Classic99caseinbox.jpg
    The nicely done zippered semi-hard head phone storage case that contains the Meze 99 classic's and accessories.  The accessories come in a convenient separate zippered case
     
    classic99incase.jpg
    Meze99Acc.jpg
    The accessories pouch contains both wires standard and one with a microphone and remote control.  Airplane adapter and 1/4 inch head phone adapter.
     
    The package with the Meze Classic 99 is first rate.  So is the construction of the headphones.  Made with metal and wood they have a natural and substantial feel to them. 
    Classic99sideview.jpg
    Classic99headband.jpg
    Classic99frontview.jpg

    All you have to do is grab the ear cups spread the spring steel tension bars and place them on your ears and your ready to listen.  Comfortable, simple, with just the right tension. I have large ears so they touch my ear lobes but I don't find it objectionable.  Would it be better if my lobes fit inside.  Yes but this isn't a deal breaker for me.  I have several hours of listening to them under my belt and I find them comfortable.
     
    After all this I'm sure you're asking " Swnger for heavens sake what the heck do these things sound like?" 
     
    I don't have a desk full of Amps Headphones DACs but have decided to do the listening with a simple rig that you can put together for under $1000 including the Meze Classic 99.
    Classic99testrig.jpg

    The test rig consists of the Meze Classic 99 $309 , The Fiio X5 2nd Gen $349 and The Fiio K5 desk top amp and docking station $110  total $768
     
    I've been an audiophile since 1983 and one thing I've learned is that lots of audio gear gives you very little sonic improvement for extreme dollars.  I'm a vinyl guy with over 1000 Eps that I have ported over to Hi Rez in the last 10 years.  I also have an extensive collection on CD and Hi Rez downloads.  That being said I'm all about the music and not a total gear head.
     
    To prepare  the Meze Classic 99 for this review a burned in the headphones with over 40 hours of pink noise that I got from the Dr.Chesky  ultimate headphone Demo down load. Those 40 hours were torture.  I wanted to play with my new toy. Finally the moment of truth arrived and I put the Meze Classics over my ears and I started:
     
    First selection was Chilly Gonzales  " Chambers"  Piano and strings on tap.  Natural' engaging with clean attack and decay on both the strings and piano.  Satisfying acoustic realism. Showed Chilly's special touch on the piano delicate with an underling sense of power.
     
    Ella and Louis were up next.  Ella's voice like cream Louis voice like gravel on "Can't we be Friends" So strong mid range. Louis trumpet sole clean clear. lovely upper mid range.
    "Under a blanket of blue"  good drive in the bass line solid.  Mid bass good.
     
    How about James Browns " Mans world"  Good separation in the complex back ground so good definition  "Make it Funky" Super reproduction on the funky bass line. Hammond organ shuffling nicely.
     
    Daf Punk "Lose yourself to dance"  Solid dance bass line,  Channel  good separation for EDM .  Guitar drive very clean.
     
    John Barry "Diamonds are forever"  If your looking to see how things handle horns James Bond is the place to look.  The Meze Classic 99 handle the dynamics of this album very well. The strings and lush full and resolved..  The waltz "Circus Circus "  shows the violin and bells with good treble.
     
    Lets go for deep sub bass.  Boys Noize  Octave Mind  electronica deep bass hard for any thing to reproduce.  very well done can feel it in the tip of my toes.
     
    In Conclusion
    $309 No brainer.  I think the Meze Classic 99 punches well above its weight class in every way.  Like I said in line two it's a buy it.
      robbi22 likes this.
    1. Bansaku
      Nice objective review! Too bad you are a "pink noise" type of guy. Personally I enjoy hearing the transformation of the sound during burn-in.
      Bansaku, Mar 20, 2016
    2. swnger
      I'm not a total Pink noise guy, but last week was busy and I wanted to give the headphones a fair review.  So Pinked them.  Made a nice improvement in the sonics from when I took them out of the box. Yes I would have liked to hear the progression.
      swnger, Mar 21, 2016
  4. buffer
    A fun headphone with punchy midbass and a forward midrange
    Written by buffer
    Published Mar 18, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - punchy midbass, open midrange, fleshed out vocals, reasonably good clarity
    Cons - over-emphasized midbass, tonal balance not completely neutral
    Summary
    The Meze 99 classics is an interesting headphone. So often I hear people characterize a headphone as fun, and I usually object to that characterization. After all, shouldn't all headphones be fun to listen to? But in this case I believe 'fun' is a perfect word to describe the Meze 99. Whether you like them or not is going to depend on your expectation. If you are looking for a neutral audiophile headphone with perfect tonal balance and absolute clarity, then look elsewhere. These headphones will not provide an 'audiophile' experience. But before I go more into the sound lets touch on some other points.
     
    Boxing and Packaging
    The box is not overly fancy but it is easy to access everything you need and easy to open and close. Within the box is the headphone case. At first, I thought the shape to be a bit odd. But it holds the headphones secure and comfortably, as well as the cables and other accessories. I think the packaging, therefore, strikes the proper balance of form and function. More extravagant and the price would probably start to rise.
     
    Ergonomics and general appearance.
    I'm a fan of wood headphones. I own many. It's really a matter of taste. The look of the headphone is good enough, but not quite my taste. That said, the quality of the build appears to be very good. The headphone I tried had no creeks, the wood appears to be real, and the fit and finish is excellent.
     
    I do like my headphone cups to swivel just a bit and the design of the Meze does not allow for that, though there is enough flex in the metal support portion of the headband to allow for a snug fit, without exhorting too much clamping pressure.
     
    When I place the headphone over my head I must pull the cups downward slightly each time for proper coverage over my ears. There is no memory with this design. One other comment. The headphone does not have a left and right channel per se. It is symmetric so the way you connect the cable will determine left and right channels. I do not see that as a positive or negative, I'm just attempting to be thorough in my description. What I do perceive in a slightly negative way is the pad size. As many have pointed out, the pads are not really over the ear. I consider my ears pretty average in size and while the headphone is not uncomfortable, the opening in the pads does not surround my ears. The headphone sits over top part of my ear lobes.
     
    The Sound
    I would characterize the overall sound to be bottom up ...that is, more focused on the mid to lower frequencies. The midrange is open sounding and the overall balance of frequencies feel pretty cohesive in the way they blend.
     
    Bass
    The bass is not neutral in quantity. There is a bass emphasis. I would describe the bass as full sounding, if not a slight bit plump. It is extremely punchy and of good quality. It also goes pretty deep, but certainly not the deepest I've heard. I feel the mid-bass is reasonably tight and tuneful, and I don't necessarily feel that it bleeds into the mid-range, though I could see where some may disagree.  I do feel, however, that depending on the music, the bass/mid-bass can overpower the other frequencies a bit. For example, on Godsmack (pretty much any album of theirs) where you have deep drum hits in combination with bass guitar and other lower frequencies the midbass appears to be too much and can rob the headphone of some clarity. I am no basshead, but I must admit the punchiness of the bass/mid-bass is something to behold and respect.
     
    Midrange
    The midrange is neither dark or bright (certainly not shouty). But I do feel there is an emphasis in the midrange. If you like a somewhat forward sound and you like fully fleshed out vocals, you will be pleased with the midrange of the Meze. It does vocals pretty well, though if you are sensitive to coloration you may be slightly less pleased. I myself like fully fleshed out vocals and enjoyed that aspect of the Meze. Because of the quantity and character of the midbass I feel the headphone is on the warm side.  But the midrange is open and possesses slightly forward vocals.  This provides a nice degree of clarity ….that is until the midbass becomes overbearing. Of course, many songs don't have lots of midbass and when that's the case the midbass is not prevalent so the midbass does not always overpower the midrange. It really depends on the music. While I cannot exactly put my finger on it, I would say that the upper mids start to fade into a treble that is less pronounced than the other frequencies. More on the treble in a minute.
     
    Clarity
    This headphone is reasonably clear sounding in all frequencies. But, in absolute terms, I certainly would not describe the headphone as crystal clear. In fact, I think from a driver technology standpoint, I suspect the driver is not the clearest or cleanest. There are probably many headphones, even at this pricepoint, that could compete in detail retrieval and clarity. The forward more intimate and fleshed out vocals help to paint the illusion of clarity. But other frequencies may be partially masked by this subtle coloration. I don't want to leave folks with the impression that the headphone is not clear. It is satisfyingly clear, but it certainly does not rival the best in this regard. Incidentally, in addition to vocals, I believe the Meze does piano pretty good.
     
    My Comparisons
    While I am it, I should have mentioned something. I'm an audiophile. I appreciate many different perspectives. I like warmer headphones, brighter ones, neutral ones, and others that might be defined as euphonic, but my preference is for a natural sound that is full-bodied, rich, impactful, and clear. I probably prefer a slightly brighter upper midrange and I do not like “V” shaped sound. I prefer neutrality overall, and possibly a slightly forward midrange with a slight sparkle in the treble. Tonal balance and cohesiveness through out the frequency spectrum is important to me. Furthermore, I do not like a 'dry' sound. When I do a compare headphones, I disregard price. So as I am comparing the Meze, please realize that I am comparing it to my standards and to the absolute best headphones I have heard. I have heard many of the flagships and I am not taking price into consideration when I comment on the Meze.
     
    Ok, on to a discussion of treble...
     
    The treble does not call attention to itself. I don't necessarily feel the treble lacking in quantity or rolling off but I don't hear that sparkle either. I believe between the mids and the treble, the headphone lacks a bit of 'air'. That said, I find the treble to be easy to listen to and of reasonably good quality. It's just not as forward as the other frequencies.
     
    Texture and Timbre
    Not exceptional, but not bad either. I was pleased, though I wasn't necessarily as musically engaged listening to the headphone as some others. I find sometimes I feel like that when the headphones lacks life-like realism. So while I enjoyed the punchiness (some of the punchiest midbass I've heard) and the open and forward mids, I think the slight lack of resolving power and slightly unnatural tonal balance, for me, detracted from the enjoyment just a bit. But again, I feel compelled to point out that my preferences are my own and others looking for different traits may be very pleased. In a nutshell, I think texture and timbre of voices and instruments is very good, and enjoyable but not quite as good as the best 'audiophile' headphones I've heard.
     
    Soundstage / Imaging
    The soundstage is a reasonable size. It did not leave me wanting. It's not the smallest or largest I've heard. If anything it added to the enjoyment rather than being a negative. Imaging was also fairly precise and I have no complaints in this area.
     
     
    Disclaimer, Music and Equipment
    I saved this for last, but if you are interested and still reading I thought I'd share a little bit. I listen to all kinds of music. I listen to dance, jazz, easy listening, rock, classic rock, and orchestral. My experience for this review is based on a loaner I received. I do not own the Meze headphones and have been guaranteed nothing, except the opportunity to hear them in an exchange for my honest review. So my listening time has been limited to about a week, or slightly less. I did listen to all kinds of music during this time. I enjoyed all types through the Meze but I do not feel I listened sufficiently to provide credible in-depth analysis of what genres work best for the headphone. I think it's fair to say that my opinions were present, regardless of genre.
     
    For the headphone amps, I used Grado Labs, JDS Labs, the Cavalli Liquid Carbon, a Behringer DAC/headphone output, a Denon DCD 1290 CD player and an Emotiva CD player. I used both balance and single ended as the source. I cannot recall with certainty, but I believe I also used my MicroZotl 2 tube amplifier. As you can tell, I did not take studious notes while listening. I do not log the songs and minutes and seconds as I know some do. I try to enjoy myself while listening and so my impressions are based on my overall listening experience to the headphones.
     
    Would I buy these?
    I think these headphones are an excellent value. I did enjoy listening to them, but at this point my preferences are such that they wouldn't be on the top of my list of headphones to purchase. That said, they have distinct qualities that would make a great addition to my stable of headphones and I would not hesitate to recommend this headphone to others so long as they understand going into the purchase that this is not an 'audiophile' $1000+ headphone. If you like midbass punch, strong midbass, an open midrange with good clarity, and fully fleshed out vocals and a forward midrange, then I have no doubt this headphone will be just what you are looking for and should bring years of satisfying listening pleasure.
     
    My rating and experience with other headphones
    I mentioned that when rating headphones I am basing my criteria in absolute terms. I would say these Meze Classics deliver great value. But in absolute terms I would rate them 3.5 stars. I would reserve 4 stars for the more audiophile phones (not necessarily correlating to cost) that deliver neutrality and excel on most all attributes I find important. Most all headphones are imperfect so very few would receive anything above 4.5 stars from me. I reserve the 5 star rating for those headphones that provide a near perfect match to my tastes.
      Wilashort likes this.
    1. reddog
      A good review, lots of information, I especially like your views on the bass and mid bass.
      reddog, Mar 18, 2016
  5. kman1211
    Stylish and very good sounding wooden headphone.
    Written by kman1211
    Published Mar 16, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Excellent build quality, very easy to drive, balanced natural sound, dynamic and extremely smooth treble.
    Cons - Earcups a bit too small for larger ears. Mediocre comfort for larger heads and ears.
    Meze 99 Classics Review
     
    The Meze 99 Classics was sent to me as part of the review tour. Impressions of the headphone are based on a week of use. They are a headphone I've been curious about trying and seeing how they sound, the Meze 99 Classics sounded better than I ever expected. I tried the Meze on a variety of gear from my Sony UDA-1, Project Sunrise III(Toshiba D-getter 12AU7 tubes), Hifiman EF2A(6A5K GE tubes), Creative E5, and straight out of the iPad. The headphones I owned at the time of having the Meze 99's in house were the Audioquest Nighthawks, Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Limited Edition, and the Sennheiser HD 650. I'm not really going to directly compare this headphone to them but rather just use them as a baseline in describing the Meze 99 Classics sound. The more in-depth aspects of the sound I may not fully describe properly as it has been a bit of time since I listened to them. Note: Sorry about lack of pictures and mediocre picture quality in this review, forget to back up all of my pictures. 
     
    IMG_1577.jpg
     
    Build:
     
    The build quality of the Meze 99 Classics is excellent, didn't see any plastic parts on the actual headphone itself, just metal, wood, and what I think is some sort of faux leather. The headband is self-adjusting like that found in AKGs and headphones like the Audioquest Nighthawk. There is no designation of right or left on the headphone so it all depends on what end of the cable is plugged into each earcup. The earcups are solid walnut, making it one of the better valued wooden headphones out there. I honestly wish there were more wooden headphones out there. The build has a nice feel and feels sturdy. Overall I would rate the build and quality of build very highly, somewhere between the HD 650 and the Audioquest Nighthawks(these being sturdier and more substantial feeling in the hands).
     
    Comfort:
     
    This is honestly where I find this headphone falls short for many people. Comfort was one problem I had with this headphone, the earcups were simply too small for my ears and thus rested on the outer part of my ears which caused discomfort after about 30 minutes, I also have a larger head than many people which made this a bit worse for me personally. Though changing the earcups will likely also affect the sound signature in a way that may hurt it's excellent tuning. People with smaller heads and ears shouldn't have problems with the comfort. I have found after spending a few days with them I got used to their comfort though.
     
    Drivability:
     
    These headphones are extremely easy to drive, in fact the easiest to drive of any headphone I've tested, in fact they sound really good directly out of my iPad Air 2, so much so I don't really feel the need for dedicated amplification for the Meze 99 Classics. 
     
    Sound Quality:
     
    This is the main focus of the review. Do they sound good? Yes, they sound very good and well worth their asking price. Of all my headphones, they sound the most like the Sennheiser HD 650, actually oddly similar in their tuning but also a bit different. They are full-bodied and warm sounding overall with nice punchy dynamics and good imaging. They are also very musical and euphoric making music listening a joy. The headphone is very well balanced and quite well extended in both the bass and the treble. Nothing really comes off as offensive or bothers me about it's sound.
     
    Treble:
     
    The treble on the Meze 99 Classics is neither too dark or too bright, they balance the treble out just right. The treble is articulate and quite refined. What struck out to me is the utter lack of excessive sibilance in the headphone, having heard headphones with similar levels of brightness I was expected to be hit by some mild sibilance around the level found on the HD 600. In fact they are one of the least sibilant headphones I've ever heard. Reminded me some of vintage headphones in this aspect, but without sounding old like a vintage headphone.
     
    Midrange:
     
    The midrange is very smooth and has excellent timbre and tone, simply the best midrange I've heard on a portable headphone. The midrange had a strangely addicting tone to it I really enjoyed and honestly miss. Vocals are smooth with good body and focus. A minor quibble I have found is that on some systems the upper midrange can have a slight nasally tone, but this is system dependent and likely fit dependent as well. There is no sense of hollowness in the sound of this headphone.
     
    Bass:
     
    The bass on the Meze 99 Classics is well extended and is quite punchy, doesn't quite have the extension of some headphones, but I can hear plenty low and the sub-bass can hit when called for. Seems to have a bit of a mid-bass emphasis, but not too much. The bass is one of the ways I find it the most different than the HD 650, it's more intimate and not as big sounding. And has a different tone to it, hard for me to describe, but I enjoyed it's bass presentation.
     
    Soundstage/Imaging:
     
    The soundstaging and imaging is very good on the Meze 99 classics, while the soundstage is on the smaller side, it's fully articulate and has good focus, things never sound cluttered on the soundstage despite it's intimate presentation. You will hear most everything on these you hear on the HD 650 for example just in a smaller and more close-up manner. 
     
    Final Thoughts:
     
    The Meze 99 Classics are simply one of the best portable headphones I've ever heard and are an excellent value for their sound, build quality, and looks. I am a sucker for wooden headphones and am heavily considering getting myself a pair in the future. I would definitely recommend these to anyone looking for an excellent closed-back portable headphone that is very easy to drive to the point where extra amps, etc. are not really needed with these. This makes them a tremendous value due to how easy they are to drive and their sound quality directly from portable devices, making them the most viable portable headphone I've used as everything else I tried required an external amp to show what they are capable of even if the headphone is supposed to be easy to drive. I was genuinely impressed with these headphones, I was expecting just a mediocre headphone but when I plugged them in and played music, a smile came across my face.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Bocefuss4500
      liked the review .. now little worried about buying a pair have big head but small ears ...
      Bocefuss4500, Mar 21, 2016
    3. Frederose
      How would you compare the bass to your DT990s ?
      Frederose, Mar 22, 2016
    4. kman1211
      @Frederose I actually found the bass a bit similar in character, the DT 990 has a bit more emphasis in the bass though, I have the Limited Edition DT 990 which has the black pads though which change the sound a little from the stock one. Sadly I don't have the Meze 99 to compare with it anymore and I don't listen to my DT 990 much, so comparison are kind of hard.
      kman1211, Mar 26, 2016
  6. jinxy245
    A Most Welcome Surprise
    Written by jinxy245
    Published Mar 14, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Design, overall sound signature
    Cons - Controversial Ear Pads, Microphonics
    If you would have asked me a couple of months ago about Meze (I’ve read it is pronounced meh-zeh) I would have thought you were referencing a Sci-Fi character I’ve never heard of. To spite the fact that Meze has been around since at least 2009, they certainly haven’t been a household name, nor have I read much about them here or on any other audio website. After hearing the Classic 99s, I’d say that’s about to change (at the very least here on Head-Fi).
     
    Meze has created a simply beautiful (IMO) headphone with a MSRP of $309 (USD).I don’t often refer to the esthetics of headphones. I generally don’t care too much what it looks like; I care more about the sound. Looks are subjective anyway. But with the Meze, I feel I must touch on the looks for a second. Subjective or not, these headphones visually tic all the right boxes for me. From the wood, to the lines of the headband arch and the shape of the holes for the cable connectors on the ear cups, everything is just visually pleasing to me. The gold is not as flashy “in person” as they seem in photos, but if that is still not your style, there are 3 other options (different wood, white trim, silver accents etc.) available on their website (https://www.mezeheadphones.com/headphones).
     
    The materials used in creating the Classics are a welcome departure from the plastic world in which we live. Real wood and metal are used, and everything is replaceable down to the tiniest screw. From their website: “Besides the usual warranty everybody is offering we guarantee that the 99's are endlessly serviceable if any parts would ever need to be replaced because we built these headphones to last”. Thankfully, even though these are constructed with wood & metal, the headphones are relatively light, weighing 290 grams (approx. 10.3 ounces).
     
     I have had no problem at all comfort wise, other than my ears getting a little hot occasionally, which I’ve experienced with every over ear headphone. They weight is well distributed, and the pressure is fine for my small to medium sized head, though I can see the potential for larger noggins to experience some discomfort. If your experience is different, the metal frame seems pliable enough to stretch or compact as needed (of course I did not experiment as these are a review pair and I found them to be comfortable enough as is). The ears pads, although on the small size, fit fine over my ears, and were comfortable enough to be forgotten once the music started.
     
     I feel as though I have to give a little more attention to the ear pads, since many reviews have more to say about them than how the headphones actually sound. Lots of manufacturers use ear pads that both fit over the ear (on most people), yet still rest on the outer portion, and the Meze are one of these headphones. This is obviously an intentional design choice, whether it’s to have the headphone be as portable as possible, or to help create a better seal around the ear for better noise isolation, there are lots of examples of this design choice. As divisive as these ear pads are, I was impressed to learn that the Meze team is listening, and working on addressing this issue. They are constantly trying to better their products, and responded to my inquiry as follows: “…we take headfi reviewers feedback very seriously and will do our best to perfect every detail that can be improved with every production batch we release.” Well done.
     
    Before I offer my listening impressions, I’ll start with a little about myself. I’m pushing 50 and have less than perfect hearing (50 is pushing back). I’ve been a music lover for as long as I can remember, and I learned to listen a little more critically during the few years I sold audio equipment (and I continue to learn the more I listen). My fascination/infatuation with headphones began about 4 years ago, and has only gotten stronger. The majority of my listening was done listening to FLAC, WAV & various MP3s with my Shanling M3, Fiio x3 (1st gen.) or through my HP all in one PC and Audioquest Dragonfly. My tastes are fairly eclectic, but my listening centered on classic rock, folk, jazz, classical and some of the genres of EDM (dubstep? electro house? I can’t differentiate it, but it is enjoyable). I didn’t bother with burning in the headphones since this is a review pair and probably already have a few hundred hours on them, nor did I hear any difference throughout my evaluation.
     
    Isolation is about average for a closed back headphone, muting outside noise but not totally blocking it out. The metal frame I found to be highly microphonic (or is it prone to microphonism?) and the cable did as well, although to a lesser extent. Even with music playing at reasonable volumes, some sound can intrude, giving a small measure of situational awareness outdoors, however I did almost all of my listening at home. I never felt the need for more amplification during my time with the Meze, even when I briefly tested them through my cellphone (Samsung Galaxy Core Prime) and my old 512 MB SanDisk Sansa. Both were able to drive the 99 Classics to unsafe listening levels, but I found that they  scale well. The better the DAC, the better the files, the better they sang.
     
    And sing they did. This was another example of a headphone that grew on me the more I listened. Not that they didn’t grab me on first listen…I’d say they did. It’s just that I usually find myself drawn to headphones with more neutral bass. The Meze have a “fun” mid bass hump that doesn’t stray too far from neutral to be bothersome. In fact I found the bass to be engaging almost to the point of being distracting from the other things the Meze can do (but not quite). Especially on well recorded Rock & other genres of music that have a driving bass line, the bass simply demands attention, and for me it was not unwelcome. It upped the enjoyment factor and I was surprised how much I was digging the presentation.
     
     I wouldn’t call these basshead cans, though. Looking at the graph from Innerfidelity (http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/MezeClassic99.pdf ) there is a roll off starting about 50 Hz (more steeply rolling after 40 Hz). At first, I wasn’t able to clearly hear anything lacking, mostly because there isn’t a lot of music with bass that low. I’m sure there are some that will clearly hear the difference with the lowest notes of an Organ Concerto, but my musical preferences don’t include a lot of sub bass oriented music. I thought I could just discern a subtle difference when listening to deadmau5 and Fatali comparing them to the Sennheiser Momentum (1st gen.), but that could be me tricking myself, and I found those tracks no less pleasurable through the Classic 99s.  
     
    The midrange of the Meze is clear and doesn’t sound to be effected by the bass. There does seem to be a slight elevation in the upper mid-range, but I found this to be very track dependent. I don’t think it’s a matter of male vs. female vocals, so much as how the track was recorded. Vocals with less mid-range presence sound natural and well balanced. The mids never called attention to themselves when listening to Boston, Rush, or Vanessa Carlton. Live recordings, Opera and Binaural recordings also had no evidence of mid-range elevation. However, on certain pop recordings (Sia, Shel, Joe Bonamassa come to mind) where the vocals are a bit more prominent in the mix, they sounded a tad too forward, or at least more forward than I’m used to. I also noticed this was most evident when listening to lower bit rate file (MP3s). For me this was never too bothersome, and did help with intelligibility on some older recordings.
     
    The highs I found to be detailed and well enough extended with high hats & cymbals sitting further back in the mix than my personal preference would dictate. For instance, in Crystal Bowersox’s title track from Farmer’s Daughter, just before the bass kicks in the splash cymbals are just a touch more recessed than I like, but I accustomed myself to the difference fairly quickly. Soundstage I found to be above average for a closed back headphone, wider than any I own, with decent depth and height (I never feel it to be fair to compare soundstage between closed and open backed headphones).
    I have been asked to do a comparison between these and some of the other closed back headphones I have. The only headphones I have that (I think) warrant a comparison would be the Sennheiser Momentum (I have the 1st gen.), being in a similar price bracket (the original MSRP. was $349 USD.). I’ll start by saying these are general impressions only, I did all channel balancing by ear, and the Meze are definitely more sensitive than the Senns, so getting the levels right was a challenge. If I erred I always tried to give the Senns the volume advantage, and this is obviously in no way scientific, but this is what I heard.
     
    The bass on the Sennheiser seems to go a bit deeper and has more of an emphasis with just about everything I played, so you can say I find the Momentums to be more “V” shaped in their sound signature. The mids on the Senns have more of a wooly quality and seem more distant than on the Meze, making the Momentums bass sound a bit more thick and impactful, whereas I found the Meze to be tighter and more articulate overall in the bass and clearer in the midrange. The treble between the two was surprisingly similar with a good amount of detail and extension in both. Soundstage was wider and deeper when listening to the Meze, with similar height, and the Meze are more comfortable to me, too. For a relative newcomer to the headphone world, I’d say Meze knocked this one outta da park.
     
    So the bottom line is: I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Meze Classics 99, even though these don’t have what I usually find to be my preferred sound signature. Once I let my ears settle into what the Meze can do, I found myself more & more looking forward to listening, not for evaluation, but for pleasure.  I’d say Meze has made a headphone that doesn’t just fit into the (already competitive) price point they’re in; I’d say they stand out. They are a most welcome surprise, indeed.
     
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      MezeTeam likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. reddog
      A sweet review, lots of good information, especially the comparison between the Meze and the Momentum.
      reddog, Mar 15, 2016
    3. jinxy245
      Thank you, everyone!
      @gargani surprisingly enough, the Meze have the larger earcups.
       
      In Tyll's review on Innerfidelity, he gave the measurement's for a few different popular headphones:
       
      Meze 99 Classic, 45mm x 55mm;
       
      Oppo PM3, 35mm x 60mm;
       
      NAD VISO HP50, 35mm x 65mm;
       
      Focal Spirit Professional, 37mm x 50mm;
       
      Master & Dynamic MH40, 35mm x 60mm;
       
      Bowers & Wilkins P7, 35mm x 60mm;
       
      Sennheiser Momentum, 30mm x 55mm 
       
      He didn't specify, but I thing the Momentum is for the 1st generation.
      jinxy245, Mar 15, 2016
    4. gargani
      Thanks for the measurements.
      gargani, Mar 20, 2016
  7. albaman
    Best Romanian Export Since Dracula
    Written by albaman
    Published Mar 3, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - "full sized portables" build quality, design language, sound signature
    Cons - slight garishness in looks but not tone, slightly shallow earcups, slightly suppressed treble.

    MEZE 99 CLASSICS REVIEW
     
    Best Romanian Export Since Dracula.
     
     
    Romania is best known for its cloudy Carpathian topography and its misty Transylvanian mythology. But there is nothing unclear about it’s latest export, the Meze 99 Classics headphones.
     
    Technical reviews of these phones abound on headfi so I am going to limit myself to personal impressions. I was loaned a pair by Team Meze as part of their Euro tour and forwarded them to the next recipients without favour in the black casket provided.
     
    Context
    A Romanian folk hero by the name of Mr Vlad Impaler was reputed to suck the blood out of unsuspecting visitors but the good people of Meze have designed a pair of quality headphones that demand only £240 in travellers’ cheques. That’s Master & Dynamic MH40 / Kef M500 money at the more sublime end of the getting blood out of a stone business and Dr Dre’s BEATS / Bose Quiet Comfort at the more ridiculous end.
     
    So I’m judging the Meze offering to the hifi gods within these parameters and frankly, they are a bit of a steal at that price.
     
    Build
    The 99 Classics are mesmerizingly beautifully put together headphones – see my pix -  from a distance and, close up, there are no horrors in the sturdy design whatsoever. OK. The ‘gold’ fittings are a tad short of tasteful but there are silver and walnut or white and walnut options should you choose to be slightly more discrete. In fact, the satin finished wood grain earcups are spellbindingly good quality for this kind of stake.
     
    The phones are also light for a full size wooden design although the cups are slightly on the shallow side but this makes them an even better option for portable listening. No coffin up for heavy cases (sorry) here either as they come with a sleek semi-hard carry case that will fit in any travel holdall.  Interchangeable cables also make for atypical longevity in use on the go or under cover of darkness.
     
    So as a portable offering, the Meze are built for the best part of your average eternal life; almost but not quite immortal.
     
    Supporting the idea that these phones will not be joining the undead any time soon, are the lack of plastics and zinc alloy and steel construction that allow for replaceable body parts throughout their lifetime. And Kevlar cables ensure a surreal connection day in night out.
     
    Fellow travellers / commuters will find it hard to avert their gaze as the Classics allow prolonged and unamplified listening from a 32ohm impedence and 103db sensitivity. And a dead weight of only 260grams ensures a sudden pain in the neck will not follow.
     
    But how do they sound?
    Imagine Justine Bieber as a wolf howling at the moon… Unfortunately, on the Meze 99s Justin Bieber will sound pretty much like Justin Bieber.
     
    Yes these phones are accurate, offering an only slightly ethereal take on a no man’s land neutral sound signature. If a see-saw represents a flatline then imaging it slightly raised at the bass end and slightly lowered at the treble end and neutral in the middle. Yes this is a slightly two dimensional sound picture and that is what the Meze 99 Classics deliver.
     
    For an almost on ear design that is truly portable, this is actually a compliment rather than a criticism and, in my opinion, their performance exceeds portable offerings by B&W and Beyer. Genuinely, a sound signature to get your teeth into.
     
    Add a more than decent soundstage, vocals that are in no way unnatural and you have phones to go that are good. Dead good.
     
    Power requirements are easily met; my AK120 Titan provided a match made in heaven – or a slightly darker version of it. Run through a desktop system, the Meze needed little or no effort to deliver unexpectedly good cut through from a Yulong A28 Sabre.
     
    Conclusion
    An only slightly unreal sound signature shrouded in an almost immortal build quality makes the Meze 99 Classics an irresistible deal, carriage included.
     
    If you disagree, bite me!
     
    albaman
     
     
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      trellus likes this.
    1. albaman
      Hi everybody, just one detail to correct. I intended to give these 'phones four stars but seem to have managed to split the fourth star. Anyone know how to correct?
      albaman, Mar 4, 2016
    2. albaman
      Duly corrected!
      albaman, Mar 4, 2016
  8. AlexC1202
    Meze 99 Classics : The perfect combination of style and sound!
    Written by AlexC1202
    Published Mar 2, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Incredibly stylish, Great sound, Awesome sound stage for a closed headphone, Build quality
    Cons - Some small comfort issues, but at this point this is just nitpicking.
    INTRODUCTION
     
    I first heard about Meze last year, but only recently found out they are a small team of Romanians just like me.
    Needless to say, that really sparked my interest, as Romania is not known for anything other than Dracula.
    I started looking into this pair of headphones and i saw that the reviews they got were very good. So when i heard that Meze is organizing a review tour in Europe I got really pumped up.
    I am by no means an audiophile, I would consider myself to be an enthusiast at most. I have a few pairs of headphones that i got to compare these to, and I was very impressed with their sound quality.
    The other headphones i own are : Sony MDR-1R, Sennheiser Momentum Over-Ear, Sennheiser HD 600 and the Bowers & Wilkins P7.
    My favorite pair of headphones out of the bunch were the B&W P7, but that quickly changed after I gave a listen to the Meze.
     
    DISCLAIMER
     
    I am by no means affiliated with the Meze brand or any of the team members. These headphones were sent to me as part of the European review tour that Meze has organized.
    This is my first review, and as you will see down bellow, I'm not very good at writing reviews. So it goes without saying that I didn't receive any compensation whatsoever to write this review.
     
    ABOUT ME
     
    As I stated previously, I am by no means a true audiophile, I'm just an audio enthusiast.
    I own some pair of headphones (Sony MDR-1R, Sennheiser Momentum Over-Ear, Sennheiser HD 600 and the Bowers & Wilkins P7), and I had a chance to listen to many more since this virus got into me. I reached to the point where I was able to determine what was my preferred sound-signature, and what I'm expecting from a pair of headphones all around. 
    I got eclectic taste in music, so I enjoy listening to anything from Classical music to EDM, depending on my mood. I determined that I like headphones with a little emphasis on the low-end and high-end side. I know a true audiophile looks for a neutral sounding headphones, but that it's just not my style. That's why my favorite pair of headphones so far were the B&W P7. 
     
    FIRST ENCOUNTER
     
    I was sitting at my desk while working, and I remember exactly how it went because I had a very ****ty day at work. It was about 11 AM when the courier called me to let me know I need to pick a parcel.
    I was expecting the headphones to come, but i still couldn't help myself at acting like a child on Christmas Eve.
    Needless to say, I went and picked the package. Proceeded cutting through the carton, and then it hit me : The beautiful box containing the Meze 99 Classics!
    Now saying that the unboxing experience was nice would be an understatement. It was incredible. I'm a sucker for unboxings, but still, the box and the contents are so nicely packed that you cannot help yourself from enjoying it.
    The box contains a hard shell case, that for some reason it's reminiscent of a Lamborghini. Upon opening the case, you are prompted with the most beautiful pair of headphones in existence (I may exaggerate a bit, but they are definitely the most beautiful pair of headphones I have used). Also within a small cloth container you find one small wire for portable use, a longer one, a 1/4 inch adapter and a plane adapter. Basically, you get everything you need in the box.
    It took a full minute of admiring these beauties until I laid my hands on them. I was struck about the sturdiness of this piece of engineering. The wooden cups look and feel amazing, and the headphones although are not heavy, they feel consistent.
    I put them on my head and I was surprised about how well the headband adjusting mechanism works. They fit perfectly, and at first they seemed to be very comfortable. I started to feel some comfort issues a bit later, but i'll get into that a bit later.
     
    SOUND
     
    I guess that by this point you know that i didn't work at all for the rest of the day (Special thanks to my boss who understands what a big child I am).
     
    Step 1. 
    I plugged the headphones into my Iphone, and got a little disorientated when I couldn't find a left/right mark on the cup. It took a few seconds until I realized that the cable is the one who denotes left from right, so you can plug the cable as you please (I find this thing to be way more interesting than it actually is).
     
    Step 2.
    Proceeded going through my playlist.
     
    Step 3.
    Be freaking amazed!
    I was struck abut the beautiful sound these things produce. 
    I started out with some classical music, and I was very impressed. First thing you'll notice is the wide sound-stage for a closed headphone (please don't hit me, but I believe them to have a sound-stage almost as good as the open HD600). They are very good at imaging sounds "all around your head". The violin being my favorite instrument, I was really impressed about the sweet highs that were pouring through my ears while listening to Paganini. Not at all were the highs fatiguing. 
    Now I would love to be a novelist and be able to write a fancy description worthy of these headphones, but I'm more of a numbers person myself.
    There's nothing I can say that would make this headphones justice. So i'll let the other more experienced reviewers to the task, while I explain my experience with the product to the other neanderthals like myself.
    Now going through classical and jazz, I wanted to hear some low-end as well so I opened up my EDM playlist. While I'm not a bass head, I do enjoy a stronger presence there than most people and I was afraid that this will sound too boring for my taste. But just like my wife, these cans were there to tell me that I was wrong!  Now don't get me wrong, they are more to the neutral side, but I'm very happy to report to bass if very present and well extended. It's more present than the MDR-1R or Momentums. The only thing I could actually compare it to, was the B7, which I considered to have just a tad bit more bass as far as the quantity goes.But the difference is only distinguishable if you close your eyes and really concentrate on certain bits of the track.
    Listening to vocal tracks and ballads, the mids were extremely good as well. These are the type of headphones that can make Justin Bieber sound human (yes, I listen to a few tracks from him, I'll show myself out). Compared to the B7, this is a clear winner with regards to the mid section. Where the B7 leaves you with the impression that the vocalist is taking a few steps back, with the Meze you feel the vocalist to be right where he is supposed to. I really don't know how should I describe the sound in a more delightful way, but trust me, the headphones sound exquisite on all counts.
     
    As for the sound leakage, this product seals the sound very well. I really believe they are fit for portable use in public, and it blocks the sound in and out very very well.
     
    I plugged the headphones to my AMP/DAC Oppo Ha2 as well, and while there is a slight sound quality increase, it's barely distinguishable from the normal Iphone. So if you don't have a portable DAC/AMP combo, don't buy one for this pair. They don't need it. I don't know what to say about the more expensive desk headphones amplifiers as I don't own one yet, but as far as portable headphone amplifiers go, I feel like the Meze are very good without one as well.
     
    COMFORT AND MIRROR FACTOR
     
    Mirror factor is a term i just made up. It refers to the level of shame you would feel while wearing the headphones in public. 
    I have a big head, so while I go out with the B7's on my head I look like something resembling a Chupa-Chups candy.
    I saw in most pictures that the Meze's antennas stick out fairly much on other people's head, but I'm happy to report that if you have a big head that won't be a problem.
    The antennas will stay very close to the curvature of your head and it will not look weird in any way.
     
    As for the comfort, I said earlier that these headphones are comfortable. But I have to admit that the pads were a bit shallow so your ear will touch the sponge that is covering the drivers. I have issues with things that are touching my ears so maybe I'm too sensitive about it. But it's a thing worth noting if you are anything like me. I hope Meze will come back with some replacement pads that are deeper. Also, in a a few instances my hair got stuck in the gold hinges that are holding the headband, so the headphones pulled a few of my hairs out when taking them down.
    But these were not huge problems in my opinion, and at this point i'm just nitpicking. 
     
    In summary, this is a very good pair of headphones. It's a very good all rounder that strikes a point in every category worth mentioning. I'm definitely going to buy these as soon as I can convince my wife that I need a fifth pair of headphones in my life. 
     
    Thanks for reading!
    AlexC1202
    1. ArrancarV
      Thank you for the review! Great read :) Any chance of you also having heard the Oppo PM-3 and any comparison with the Meze 99?
      ArrancarV, Mar 3, 2016
    2. AlexC1202
      Hi ArrancarV,
       
      Yes, I owned the Oppo PM-3 for about 2 months, but I rarely given them a listen.
      I'm not saying that they are not good, but as I mentioned in the review, I like headphones with a bit more present bass, which unfortunately the Oppo were not able to deliver.
      Oppo are very neutral and boring for my taste, so I would definitely go for the Meze to please my ears. 
      I got the Oppo's for the planar magnetic drivers, as in theory they should produce more bass, but that's simply not the case.
       
      But if you are more interested in neutral sound, like most audiophiles, the Oppo will definitely deliver! But as far as my taste is involved, I would choose the Meze all day.
       
      Hope I answered your question. If you want me to get into more specifics, let me know and I'll try to formulate an answer as comprehensive as I can.
      AlexC1202, Mar 3, 2016
  9. elnero
    A Toe Tapping Good Time
    Written by elnero
    Published Feb 28, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - A fun and engaging headphone that strikes a very nice balance
    Cons - Fit is strange, not quite over the ear or on ear. An emphasis in the midrange that can give a honky or nasal quality.
    Introduction
     
    First off I would like to thank the Meze team for selecting me to take part in the Canadian leg of the 99 classic tour and I’d also like to apologize for it taking so long to get this written. This is my sons second year in hockey and between his practices, games and tournaments along with my daughters dance classes and my own work I’m starting to realize that from Christmas to March is the busiest time of year for me. This also limited my time with 99 Classics, I would have liked to have had more time to get to know them a little better.
     
    What’s Included
     
    Inside the 99 Classics outer box you’ll find a very nice hard case molded to the shape of the headphones. Inside the case is the 99 Classics themselves and a soft pouch including two cloth covered cables, one longer, the other shorter with a microphone for portable use. Also in the pouch is a ¼” as well as an airline adapter.
     
    I have to say, I really like the outer hard case. Honestly, I’d prefer a case like this was included with my Nighthawks instead of the softer case that came with those.
     
    Build Quality
     
    As a $300 US headphone I’m pretty impressed with the build quality and accessories. The pads and headband are a PU leather which seem to be of reasonably good quality although not quite up to the same standards of the materials used in my NightHawk. The wood cups have a very nice matte finish which I find very attractive. The overall presentation has an element of elegance but I’ll admit I don’t like the gold accents. I tend to prefer understated elegance though which I feel the gold detracts from.
     
    Meze99Classics.jpg
     
    Fit & Comfort
     
    There are some similarities between the 99 Classics and the NightHawks suspension. Both aim to have the user simply place the headphones on their head without the need for extra adjustments. The NightHawks ease of use and comfort has been a revelation, unfortunately the 99 Classics don’t quite hit the mark. Everytime I put them on I found I had to pull them down a bit and then try to stuff my ears inside the pads because the opening is just a little too small for my ears yet too big to sit on them comfortably. It also feels like the pads could be a tad thicker and softer as once I got my ears inside, the tops of my ears tended to touch the driver. Once set though the comfort wasn’t too bad, not too much clamp and I didn’t feel much need to readjust them all the time.
     
    Sound
     
    I was first on the Canadian tour so the 99 Classics were brand spanking new. Straight of the box I found the mids had an odd push and they sounded a little strained so I set them to play over the weekend before getting down to listening.
     
    After their weekend break-in period the 99 Classics seemed more at ease and the midrange push seemed to have lessened but was still there giving a slight honky or nasal quality that was most apparent on vocals. This emphasis in the mids also has the effect of bringing out some details that were previously masked so the 99 Classics gave an interesting, slightly different take on familiar music.
     
    The 99 Classics lean towards the warmer side yet they are one of the more fun headphones I’ve listened to. Bass has some added emphasis and it’s fast, tight and punchy with reasonably good extension into sub-bass. This tight and fast quality is predominant throughout the frequency spectrum giving the 99 Classics great PRaT making for a very fun listen at the expense of losing some ambient information as decay gets cut short.
     
    The decay being cut short may have some effect on soundstage as well as I found that, while it has decent width, there is a distinct lack of depth in comparison to what I’m used to with the NightHawks. Instrument placement is decent but does lack some of the separation I’ve become accustomed to. This is most noticeable on denser recordings where instruments and placement became a bit confused as they fight with each other for space.
     
    Treble has very good presence without any harshness or over emphasis on sibilance. In fact, I’d say this is one of the nicer presentations of treble I’ve heard in a headphone.
     
    As mentioned previously, I found the mids to have a bit of push I’d say in the upper range. Every time I put them on they sounded a bit odd at first. After a few minutes I could adjust but the timbre of some instruments and vocals always seemed a bit off. I wondered if the pads and fit might be to blame but it’s hard to say.
     
    Conclusion

    It might seem like didn’t like the 99 Classics but honestly, I was pretty impressed with them. They have a fun, energetic yet smooth sound that I found addictive. They give me some of what I’ve always liked about Grados without the sibilance and ringing ear issues I have with Grados. The 99 Classics do seem to have some irregularity in their frequency response but I suspect that at least some of this may come down to fit. If the Meze team were to update these with pads that are deeper and softer with a larger opening for the ear I think I would be very tempted to get a pair to complement my NightHawks. At $300 for the build and sound quality on offer the 99 Classics are a pretty darn good deal.
      mikemercer likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. jinxy245
      Great review...fun, energetic & smooth is exactly how I'm finding them.
      I'm not sure it's fair to compare to the (semi-open & more expensive) Nighthawks, but the point of reference is understandable. The Meze isn't bad for a closed back (IMO).

      Thanks!
      jinxy245, Mar 5, 2016
    3. Miguel Ruiz
      Im looking into this ones vs the Nighthawks, Ive been reading a lot of reviews on both and almost never is Soundstage or localization, I listen mostly to classic rock and classical music, mostly piano, so a decent soundstage is a major thing for me. I know, they are close back but still, any input in this?
      Miguel Ruiz, Dec 19, 2016
    4. elnero
      @Miguel Ruiz It's been quite awhile since I've heard the 99 Classics but from my recollection I'd say the NightHawk would give you better soundstage depth and localization. The $349 sale price for the NightHawk right now is an absolute steal in my opinion. 
      elnero, Dec 19, 2016
  10. dweaver
    Wonderful Natural sounding headphone that looks as good as it sounds
    Written by dweaver
    Published Feb 27, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Wonderful craftmanship, warm detailed signature that is on the brighter side of warm. Most comfortable partial ear headphone I have tried.
    Cons - Cables are slightly noisy due to fabric. Cups are more like half to three quarter over ear versus fully over ear.
    First if I would like to thank Meze for including me in their review program. I did NOT receive these for free, like all other reviewers in the program I was given a 1 week window to review the headphone, then ship them on to the next reviewer. Having said that one of us will win a free pair as a thank you from Meze for reviewing their headphone. I personally do not feel the potential for a free headphone sways my opinion on how something sounds, looks, feels, or it's craftsmanship. To be blunt if I don't like it I wouldn't want to win it and if I do like it, well then any positive review I make is deserved...
     
    This headphone deserves a positive review...    [​IMG]
     
    Ok, so now that I have dealt with the usual disclaimers let get into the review.
     
    When the headphone arrived I loved how it looked. I personally love the dark walnut cups, the black headrest and suspension system and the gold accents. The headphone looks like a tasteful work of art and listening instrument. To be blunt I can't take pictures of the headphone that do it justice so I won't be lacing my review with pictures. Suffice it to say Meze's stock pictures look every bit as good as the finished product with no photo touching and glamorizing needed. Some will prefer the companies silver offerings more which is fine because I believe every picture offered by Meze is an honest depiction of their quality and craftsmanship so people can buy with confidence based on their personal fashion preference.
     
    The retail packaging also reflects the quality of the product without being excessive or over the top in an attempt to upsell an otherwise less than impressive product. Just as Meze has not needed to depict their product as more than they are in their pictures, they haven't felt the need to waste money with fancy packaging either. Which is great news because they then put that money into a great case to protect their works of art as well as a very nice soft case to hold their cables.
     
    Everything Meze has done shows their love for craftsmanship, design, and most importantly... MUSIC.
     
    So are there any flies in the ointment? Yes, there are two things that stand out.
    • The cables while looking very nice and being well built internally are cloth covered which makes then slightly noising when rubbing on things, with the smartphone cable being a bit less noisy due to the microphone/button acting as a noise absorber.
    • The cups are not truly over ear (at least for my average sized ears), being more of a 3/4 over ear, somewhat similar to the original Sennheiser Momentum. The good news for me is that while they are not truly over ear, they are far more comfortable than any other partial over ear headphone I have tried or owned and that's even when I wear my glasses. In fact I found them comfortable for several 2+ hour listening sessions.
     
    So how do these sound? In my opinion these sound as good as they look, reflecting the same esthetic values as their design. When I look at them I see a headphone that looks natural, with craftsmanship so solid there is no need for excessive coats of lacquer, over sized components, or glittery/shiny over polished accents. It's just so well put together it doesn't need to TRY THAT HARD! When I listen to them, THATS EXACTLY HOW THEY SOUND TOO! They have a boosted bass but it's never bombastic or over the top. They have a midrange that is clear, articulate, and engaging without ever feeling in your face and shouty. The treble similarly is detailed and slightly brighter than I have grown used to but never fatiguing. Their sound stage while smaller than my most expensive headphone and others I have owned or heard is still of a decent size and offers an above average 3D experience.
     
    In my testing I used these equally between my LG G4 phone and my Pono player with both devices sounding excellent with the headphone. I also did some listening sessions with my computer and Audio Engine 1 DAC. Again the headphone sounded impressive. In all 3 listening situations I was using a mix of standard and high definition FLAC files from a variety of musical genres from classical orchestra, choral, movie sound tracks (lots of Hans Zimmer), small ensemble, Celtic, classic rock, psychedelic rock, country, female jazz, and more.
     
    My usual review style is a breakdown of each area of the sound spectrum but I think I will fore go this process in favor of a brief comparison I wrote between the Meze 99 Classics, the VModa M100, and the Sony MDR-Z7.
     
    The bottom line is I think the Meze 99 Classic is EVER BIT THE TITLE. They are "classic".
     

     
    Meze 99, Vmoda M100, Sony MDR-Z7 shootout listening to 192kHz 24 bit FLAC song Code Cool by Patricia Barber on my Pono.

    Meze 99 and M100 played with standard stereo connection, Z7 played with balanced cable output.

    Ok before I get started I want to be clear about my preferences. Over the years I have fluctuated between bright and dark sounding headphones. Swaying as bright as the AKG K712 and as dark as RHA T10. The T10 actually started me down the path to darker headphones until I settled on the Z7 which found a good balance between a dark sound with just the right sparkle and treble detail for me. For the past year and half it has been my go to headphone for listening enjoyment in full size gear.

    M100 - Comparing the 3 headphones with this song really shows the M100's main stream signature and it's weaknesses. Starting with the bass while almost as strong as the Z7 it lacks the Z7 punch, detail and texture, sounding slightly hollow in comparison. The midrange is slightly subdued compared to the Z7 and the 99 while having a vocal pitch closer to the 99as compared to the warmer sounding Z7. Strangely the midrange sounds less cohesive due to the gap between the bass and the midrange. Treble is slightly hotter than the Z7 while still not being as bright or as detailed as the 99. The hotness of the treble makes the M100 ever so slightly more fatiguing than the 99 and Z7. The sound stage is slightly larger than the 99 but smaller than the Z7 but has an artificial quality assocated with its V shaped signature. Of the three the M100 has the least detail and imaging prowess.

    MDR-Z7 - The Z7 has the biggest bass of the three headphones while having good punch and texture. The bass is definitely the Z7 strength and for many will be its Achilles heel. In this song the Big Bass (instrument) sounds slightly slightly larger than normal. Personally I enjoy the slightly larger than life experience but again many would not appreciate the coloration. The midrange is the warmest of the three headphones and yet retains detail, urgency, and is very cohesive with the bass. But this also means vocals have a level of huskiness that some would again find colored. The treble is finely detailed and articulate while being slightly relaxed, never approaching anything close to fatiguing. 3D imaging and sound stage is immensly satisfying and large beating both 99 and M100 handily.

    Meze 99 - The bass of the 99 is the lowest in quantity while having as good a punch as the Z7 as well as detail and texture making it the most balanced of the three headphones. It is not a neutral headphone though, just more balanced than the other 2 in this comparison. The midrange similarly is brighter and as detailed and urgent as the Z7. The treble has none of the hotness of the M100 while being the brightest of the 3 headphones and yet fatigue free. While the 99 has the smallest sound stage it is very natural sounding and has as good instrument separation as the Z7.

    So given my leaning towards the dark side it would be easy to say I would like the Z7 the most, but strangely enough I found myself enjoying the Meze 99 as much or more than the Z7. Where the Z7 won in the 3D and sound stage department the 99 won in the clarity and natural department. Both were non-fatiguing.

    Comfort wise the Z7 wins but I actually found the 99 more comfortable than the M100 with extra large pads. In fact I can easily see living with the 99 from a comfort perspective which is shocking because I immensely prefer full over over versus on ear or half on ear. But the 99 has done a better job of comfort than any other half on ear headphone I have owned or tried.

    So there you have it. The Meze trounced the M100 and sounded as good as (or better if you don't like the sound of the Z7's signaure) my $700 Z7 running in its optimal balanced configuration. So I guess you could say I like the Meze 99 a lot [​IMG].
    1. View previous replies...
    2. MaxLee
      Well Should I Get The M100 Or Meze,Im A DJ But Still Love Classical Audiophile Music,And Love Bass Too.So...Which I Should Pick?
      MaxLee, Aug 1, 2016
    3. MadMusicJunkie
      Great review. I find comparisons the most effective way of getting an impression of a headphone over someone trying to just use words to describe complex sounds. As such, I've found this review to be the most helpful in my Meze 99 research!
      MadMusicJunkie, Apr 23, 2017
    4. dweaver
      MaxLee, I apologize for missing your question those many months ago, doubly so since I own both headphones! The 99 is the more balanced of the 2 headphones but the M100 is better for DJ purposes. From a purely audiophile pers[ective I think the Calssic's win hands down though. But if you REALLY love some bass the M100 is the more bassy headphone and darned fun to listen to.
       
      Thanks for the complement MadMusicJunkie, I have just finished a review / comparison between the 99 Classic and the new 99 Neo, which you might find a good read as well. www.head-fi.org/products/meze-99-neo/reviews/18490
      dweaver, Apr 23, 2017